The most important textile association in Europe, Euratex – whose board includes the president of the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Association, Mário Jorge Machado – wants to transform the crisis caused by Covid-19 into an opportunity by betting on digitalization, sustainability and agility. For that to happen, five main principles were outlined.
Named ‘EU Next Generation’, the set of measures presented “can play an important role and support the textile and clothing industry in its revitalization. This crisis has shown how important our industry is, and now, more than ever, it is essential to develop the competitiveness of the European ecosystem”, said Alberto Paccanelli, the Italian who was reappointed as president of the association.
To make the strategy tangible and concrete, Euratex presents a plan based on five initiatives:
- The impact of these types of crises can be avoided by organizing and securing a supply chain and creating resilient value chains in Europe for critical PPE and other textile products.
- Due to the ageing of the textile and clothing industry’s workforce – 35% are over 50 years old – SMEs must train their workers to adapt to a constantly changing sector and attract young people and qualified professionals.
- Invest in innovative and sustainable textiles through dedicated public-private partnerships (PPP) at EU level. These PPPs will accelerate research, innovation, pilot tests and demonstration in critical areas, such as digital production and supply chains.
- Establish five recycling centres in Europe associated with the main textile garment epicentres, to collect and manufacture raw materials, and to classify, process and recycle post-production and post-consumption textile waste.
- End the blocking of goods by authorities at borders. It is essential to ensure free and fair trade for companies, and a first step should be to promote Pan Euro Med as an integrated ecosystem and to explore market opportunities resulting from other EU free trade agreements.